When Foreign Service officer Brennan Gilmore learned that there was going to be an alt-right protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, he decided to attend as a counterprotester. What he didn’t realize is that his now-infamous video of a car driving into the crowd of counterprotesters would capture an American tragedy — and set him up as a target for death threats, hate mail, and doxxing.
“I am the center of these conspiracy theories that I’m behind the attacks in Charlottesville,” Gilmore told Today, Explained host Sean Rameswaram. “The general outline of the conspiracy theory is there is a deep state that is trying to overthrow Donald Trump and I am an operative of it. Alex Jones and his conspiracy theory says I was paid $320,000 by George Soros to come to Charlottesville to orchestrate the event, and then to get on mainstream media and lie about what happened — which would undermine Trump’s administration.”
This, of course, is nonsense. There is no deep state, no attempt to overthrow the president, and no ill intent on the part of Gilmore. So Gilmore is fighting back and suing Alex Jones and others for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Learn how this could bring scrutiny to Jones’s notorious persona, and why conspiracy theories are so uniquely difficult to fight, on the latest episode of Today, Explained.
- Alex Jones, Pizzagate booster and America’s most famous conspiracy theorist, explained (Zack Beauchamp/Vox)
- Charlottesville car attack witness sues Alex Jones, others (Associated Press)
- How I became fake news (Brennan Gilmore)
- Alex Jones is a menace to society. I’m suing him. (Brennan Gilmore)
How do I get even more Today, Explained?
You can get the news we’re reading throughout the day, facts and stats to make you smarter about the world, and behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter at @Today_Explained. You can follow Sean at @Rameswaram, Brennan Gilmore at @BrennanMGilmore, and Jane Coaston at @CJane87.
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